"Alphabet Town" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
Alphabet city is haunted
Constantina feels right at home
She probably won't say you're wrong
But you're already wrong

You're already wrong
And you threw up whatever she shot down
Said show me around this alphabet town
Said show me around

There's a name you keep repeating
You got nothing better to do
And you're with someone who'll hear you say it and just not mind
Her hand on your arm

Her hand on your arm
She put her hand on your arm
And told you her name you can't pronounce it
I'll show you around this alphabet town

I'll show you around this alphabet town
I know what you are
I just don't mind
I won't say you're wrong

I know what you want
And it's what I want
So let's go out
I'm ready to go out

I'll show you around this alphabet town
I'll show you around this alphabet town


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus, edited by Afternoonmoon, ol_ly

"Alphabet Town" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Alphabet Town song meanings
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  • +3
    General Commentthis song seems like its about two people who are looking for love but are not in love with each other, they are just together because they both get what they want out of the relationship, however fake it is, they never really know each other, but they dont care cause they are getting what they want.
    nopoeticon December 22, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Commentfirst I tought this:
    the male in the song is with some girl he's not in love with. He loves someone else but is with this one just to pass the time, and to make it worse, she is ok with it. He fells bad about going out with her when he loves someone else.
    I did that once. I went out with a girl thinking about another, and said the other girls name. It's common to do that, cause you're using her as a substitute for the one you didn't get.


    Now I think that he's going out with a drug whore. Someone who sticks around with him to score drugs. Read again the lyrics with this interpretation in mind, it makes perfect sense
    bernardofbbragaon August 02, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy heart drops in my stomach when I hear the harmonica. I so desperately want to be shown around and away from the miles of nowhere I've been walking.

    I feel like he is walking up to people all confused and lost and in the back of his head he knows where he is but he's too apathetic to truly try. Just when he wants to give up he gives into to the only option. He just wants to give in already and be led anywhere.

    So beautifully woven words of a story of a lost soul searching. You take whatever you can to get by.
    yamolajodaon January 02, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song makes me miss the old East Village so much... the bars and spots were so gritty and home to the notorious needle park. it was a hole within the hole, but times have changed and now its this hip, gotta be place. so sad. there was this bar, Wally's, that was named after a bum who hung out there a lot and drank (when he had the money). Its now infested with DJs and special people.

    Sounds like Elliot was out with a friend (Constantina?), and she drank him way under the table- "you threw up whatever she shot down." there are so many bars in that area you can literally do a crawl and wind up in as bad a shape as he sounds in this song. What a great song.
    replicant212on October 06, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment*there's a name you keep repeating
    *you got nothing better to do
    *and you're with someone who'll hear you say it and just nod


    what a hidden gem of a song. the lyrics certainly sound as if this is a friendship/relationship of convenience. a different name on his or her tongue then the one he or she is with.

    what a great, sweet song.
    daniel.skylineon May 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI see this story as more sublime. Elliott is walking around in Alphabet City trying to find the correct letters and pronunciation of her name before he throws it up for her to shoot it down. But she feels right at home because her name is Constantina, and that is the sort of name you would feel at home with if you lived in Alphabet City, because it sure uses a lot of letters. But its haunted by the ghosts of other letters, and maybe the names of other women. But Northwest Portland is haunted anyway, and the streets are in alphabetical order, and he did live in Portland, so it makes a very nice backdrop for a really cool story.
    NiNNon March 04, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the term "Alphabet City or town" implies apathy for where he lives, basically it being so insignificant to him that the people who inhabit it are just seen as initials of the alphabet. People come in alphabetical order. Just another person, they don't matter to him.

    I figure that there's a girl he is talking about in particular that he's showing around though this town he despises. He doesn't have feelings for her and nor does she for him. She may be a drug dealer to make the situation even more unhealthy. They are both aware of the fact that this relationship is meaningless. But they are both going along with it. I figure using each other as an escape.

    There's a heavy apathy / emptiness implied in both their lives cause firstly they are both seeking an escape but at the same time, the escape itself is meaningless. I can only imagine how lonely that must be. For me, it has to be one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. The harmonica is haunting and just deepens the overall feeling of this song. The thing that is just so genius about Eliott's songwriting is that he implies things that aren't so obvious "told you her name you can't pronounce", "with someone who will hear you say it and just not mind", the idea of "alphabet town". He's not just talking about crying or any other pop cliche lyric that shows sadness. His pain runs deep. Real pain is in the small gestures of carelessness rather than just straightforward pain. This song carries depth and shows or describes a sad situation and the way it makes Elliott feel or not feel. It amazes me.
    yourmiseron January 26, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is gorgeous...seems sort of forgotten. a real gem.
    NishFetson December 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthas anyone else notice that Elliott makes a number of references to names that are unpronounceable? i wonder what this is about. one example is in No Name #2:

    "Her name was just a broken sound
    A stuttered step you hear when you're falling down"

    this is just one, there are others too although i cant remember off-hand. any theories as to what he is on about???
    badgeon May 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthas anyone else notice that Elliott makes a number of references to names that are unpronounceable? i wonder what this is about. one example is in No Name #2:

    "Her name was just a broken sound
    A stuttered step you hear when you're falling down"

    this is just one, there are others too although i cant remember off-hand. any theories as to what he is on about???
    badgeon May 19, 2005   Link

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